Jason Pitzl-Waters made his readers aware the Maine Christian Civics League’s attempts to shame Kennebec County Democrat Chair Rita Moran for being Pagan. Indeed they seem to be quite outraged by the idea that a Pagan hold’s such a position, and go through a great deal of effort to make it sound like a horrific thing.
Of course, from my perspective, I don’t see how anyone can find it all that horrific. Indeed, my reading of the CCL’s diatribe struck me as an attempt to make something out of nothing. They even go so far as to try to make it sound like Ms. Moran has something to hide by referring to her involvement in “underground” pagan worship circles. Indeed, one wonders at the use of the word “underground” to describe Immanent Grove, which is well advertised.
Stranger still is the fact that they report that Moran supports the “Pagan Preserves Project,” a fundraising program designed to finance a long-term goal of purchasing property in Maine for Pagan religious use. Why this is more scary than Christians raising money for a new church building escapes me.
The CCL goes on to reveal their most disturbing bit of news about Moran, and that’s “the involvement of Moran’s Apple Valley Books store in promoting her pagan-worshipping beliefs to Maine’s children.” This kicker is no doubt intended to conjure images of Moran handing out copies of Satanic literature to impressionable young minds directly. However, CCL’s own clarification ruins that image. Instead we are dealing with a bookstore that is listed on the Pagans’n’Parenting website. The CCL describes this website as “a pagan resource for parents to involve their children in pagan worship.” So instead of an unethical figure who targets children behind their parents’ backs, the CCL is criticizing a woman who simply offers resources to parents already interested in teaching their children about Paganism. I find it hard to imagine how any rational person — even one who disagrees with Pagan theology — can find that particularly alarming, let alone sinister.
Originally, I intended to limit this posting to a mockery of the CCL’s “alarming” revelation. To be honest, I still find it entirely laughable and the sign of truly paranoid people who will try to create alarm out of nothing. Unfortunately, an update to Jason’s original post includes and email from Ms. Moran that has given me pause to reconsider. It would appear that as laughable as I find the CCL’s post, it has become a source of actual concern to Ms. Moran and those who would support her. According to her, even worse and potentially more damaging rumors have begun to circulate about her as a result of this “revelation.”
What I find particular sad are the allegations that the organizers of the Maine CCL have been “investigating” some people who have left comments on their site in support of Ms. Moran in order to post additional information about them. If this is true, the only conceivable reason to do so is to encourage their supporters to harass these people in addition to Ms. Moran herself. Quite frankly, this strikes me as entirely unethical behavior, and certainly not behavior that those who are calling other people’s character into question should be doing.
But in the end, one must wonder. Do those involved with the CCL truly have so little faith in their own religion and the victories it promises that they have to resort to such tactics? Is such behavior the best that the CCL has to offer the world? If so, then the CCL and those associated with it are truly empty and devoid of any real spiritual value.
In which case, one must wonder if their criticisms of Ms. Moran is anything more than simple projection.
UPDATE: My friend Lauren left a comment on the CCL site. They decimated the original post and added the links to her MySpace and StumbleUpon pages. They also included her email address in the comment text. (She provided the email address when filling out the comment form as it is required, but did not expect it to be published.)
The full text of Lauren’s unedited comment (with the exception of the last part, which she had to retype from memory due to last minute editing) is as follows:
I’m sorry, what?
As a conservative Christian, I am offended at the picture you attempt to paint of this woman– quite the fanfare for something hardly scandalous.
It is to my knowledge that her supposed “underground” pagan worship circles are actually well advertised.
It is hardly a crime to have a book store where proceeds go to something you support; that is the beauty of our country, and it is her business what she supports, especially when it is concerning what is done on PRIVATE land.
I applaud her for offering literature to Pagan parents. But that’s not the real issue here; since when do Democrats actually allow parents to raise their own children in whichever way they would like? (I digress!!)
I understand what you are trying to do here, and I understand that you wish to allow Christians safe alternatives through education. I also understand you wish to foster Christian values in all areas of life. I understand because I am a firm believer in Christ and I wish to know what I am partaking in, where my money is going, and what I am supporting, in hopes of honouring God. However, it saddens me that this woman is shown as a monster for doing nothing illegal, and nothing but using her own earned money, private property, and supporting parents who have already chosen to raise their children in Pagan ways. These are things she is doing on her own private time.
I presume you know your organisation wields power. The potential for rumours and character destroying information being passed along is very high and that fact is frightening. Perhaps it would have been more effective to show awareness through her organisation or her bookstore rather than through her personal name, that is if I am right, and it is educating you seek to do.
[There is a passage in Galatians where Paul refers to freedom in Christ (chapter 5), which is the freedom to do what is good, what is right, and what is honourable. It is contrasted to the “old man”– a slavery to sin and to the law (chapter 3). It strikes me as fruitless to fight against slavery when one can instead fight for freedom.]
As you can see, they did a significant amount of editing.